SLP Theater 2022-2023 season line-up

The Spring Lake Park Schools Theater department launches an exciting 2022-2023 season of performances with Peter and Starcatcher starting October 28.

The fall play kicks off a year of what are sure to be memorable performances by our local, homegrown and award-winning theater talent. Find more information about Peter and Starcatcher, the full 2022-2023 line-up and buy tickets on the theater website.

Peter and the Starcatcher opens Oct. 28

By the first week of the school year, auditions for the Spring Lake Park High School fall play, Peter and the Starcatcher, were underway. That kind of early preparation carries through in all aspects leading up to these first performances of the year. With hours of rehearsals, tech crew meetings, and costume and set design planning, the characters and show are coming to life.

Peter and the Starcatcher is the first show I've ever directed where every actor is called to attend every rehearsal. It is truly an ensemble show – meaning every person plays a vital part in the telling of the story and each actor is empowered to create their own unique character,” says Kevin Dutcher, who has been running the theater program for 10 years.

The play is a prequel to the story of Peter Pan and upends the century-old story of how a miserable orphan comes to be “The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up.” From marauding pirates and jungle tyrants to unwilling comrades and unlikely heroes, the show playfully explores the depths of greed and despair as well as the bonds of friendship, duty and love.

Most of the students in the high school shows have been involved in the Spring Lake Park Schools theater program for up to seven years. That level of experience shows in their level of professionalism, passion and enthusiasm.

Performances are October 28-29 and November 3 and 5 and tickets are available online.

A 100 percent student-run show

Students stand on stage during the fall play rehearsal

Part of what makes this show and other Spring Lake Park Schools theater productions unique is the fact that they are 100 percent student run.

Audiences see young, homegrown actors actively thinking and engaging to bring the show to life. Over the years, audiences see these kids grow up on stage. Those who start out as 5th graders this year will light up the high school theater productions in a few years. 

Impressive work is also done behind the scenes with the Tech Crew. This is a crew of theater students running the lights and sound and moving the sets on and off the stage.

“Our technical theater program has grown by leaps and bounds,” says Kevin. “Ryan Julien, our Fine Arts Center technology support specialist, leads a group of talented, creative students who are empowered in all aspects of running the show. Through this process they learn responsibility and enhance their self-esteem.”

The intermediate and middle school shows are run by students in grades 5-8 with oversight by their high school mentors. Mentors lend a hand when needed.

“When you see a performance in our program, you will see a 100 percent student-run show,” says Kevin.

Something for everyone this season

A major goal this year was to find a series of shows with large casts to get a lot of students across all grades involved. By selecting catchy, family-friendly titles, audiences can get excited about getting back into the Fine Arts Center.

“We navigated the tricky waters of putting on shows during COVID,” explains Kevin. “Now there's a certain amount of jubilation and freedom that is palpable this year, like we're collectively celebrating being able to be together, to tell our stories and entertain again.”

This year’s performances include classics at all levels:

  • Snowy Off-White and the 8 Little Dudes (Grades 5-6 Musical) – December 1-2
    • Children’s musical written and directed by Kevin Dutcher
  • Einstein’s Brains (Grades 7-8 Play) – December 9-10
  • The Private History of a Campaign that Failed (MSHSL One Act Play and Competition) January 20-21, 2023 (tickets coming soon)
  • Disney’s Frozen Jr. (Grades 7-8 Spring Musical) – March 2-4, 2023
    • Little ones will be able to see and hear beloved characters Elsa, Anna, Olaf, Kristoff and Sven - and meet them in the lobby afterward for pictures
  • Matilda (High School Spring Musical) – April 21-22 and April 28-30, 2023

All performances take place in the Spring Lake Park High School Fine Arts Center at 1100 81st Ave NE, Spring Lake Park. Tickets are available online or at the door, for a dollar more a ticket.